When you’re thinking about quitting or cutting back on drinking, it can feel like you’re the first person to have this idea.
Your friends may or may not be supportive; your partner may or may not be in the same boat; and all around you are signs that drinking is the norm, and that you are the odd man or woman out for not being on the drunk train.
Apart from joining online forums on Reddit (we recommend r/stopdrinking or r/cutdowndrinking), or joining a Group in Drinker’s Helper (Groups are personalized for you, placing you with others with similar past drinking habits), it can help to read books written by people who’ve gotten over drinking problems.
Authors share advice, of course, but they also share their experiences. That helps you understand that the challenges you face when cutting back or stopping drinking are normal - maybe withdrawal, but also other symptoms like mood swings.
Here are three that we really liked:
This Naked Mind: This is one of the canonical books to read when you want to quit drinking. Through the story of its author, it brings to life the idea of changing the way you UNCONSCIOUSLY think about alcohol. Once you stop arguing against yourself, it’s a lot easier to quit.
The Sober Diaries: One of the funnier reads, this book shares the experience of a woman quitting drinking after a realization that she was losing her grip on other things that mattered. It’s one of the best in terms of really describing the experience of cutting back - the physical and emotional ups and downs are so easy to relate to.
Sober for Good: One of the most digestible of the books, this one offers tips from an extensive survey of people who have quit drinking or significantly moderated it. It helps to give a picture that there are many ways to quit or cut back on drinking, including Alcoholics Anonymous, therapies of various kinds like cognitive behavioral therapy, quitting cold turkey without help, and many combinations of different approaches.
We hope you enjoy the suggestions, and as always, if you haven’t already, please do give Drinker’s Helper a try here! We help people quit or cut back on drinking with therapeutic exercises, drink tracking and insights, and a personalized support group delivered via our app.